Morningside defense steps up in semifinal win

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) — Saturday, Morningside finally got over the hump.

After losing four straight NAIA semifinal games, dating back to 2013, the Mustangs beat St. Francis, 34-28 in overtime, to advance to the national championship game in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Morningside’s offense didn’t score in the second half, and although the defense gave up two touchdowns, they also provided several key stops.

Two big fumble recoveries, one in the third quarter, and one in the fourth, kept St. Francis from doing more damage.

And of course, there was the stop on the Cougars’ overtime possession, that set up the game-winner from Morningside.

“We just play together,” said senior linebacker Joel Katzer. “We worked all offseason. We all stayed around and worked together. We kept growing that team bond. When it came down to a blizzard in overtime, we were ready to fight.”

“We put up zero points in the fourth quarter, and they got a stop in OT,” said wide receiver Connor Niles. “Our defense played outstanding today. Without them, we couldn’t have done anything today.”

Morningside will face Benedictine of Kansas in the NAIA national championship game, December 15th at 6:00 p.m. in Daytona Beach.

Mark Freund

Mark Freund

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